The pilgrimage (Hajj) is
1) One of the most important pillars of Islam.
2) A principal means of obtaining proximity to the Almighty.
3) One of the most difficult physical forms of worship.
4) So, vital that one who does not perform Hajj will be barred from Heaven.
The main aim of human creation is to recognize God and attain a
stage of acquaintance and love for Him and this depends on the purity
and loftiness of the human soul. i.e. The purer the soul becomes the
more love will it have for the Almighty.
This stage of love can be attained by abstaining from desires and
refraining from worldly pleasures and distractions, and by exerting
oneself in the rigorous self-training activities for the sake of God,
and, remembering him continuously. For this purpose the Almighty has
legislated certain forms of worship (Ibadat).
a) Those involving the expenditure of wealth for His sake e.g.
Zakaat and Khums which serve to sever the deep attachments to worldly
b) Those involving abstinence from desires and pleasures e.g. fasting.
c) Those related to His remembrance and diverting total attention towards Him e.g. Salat/Namaaz.
But Hajj involves all these and more, such as,
i) Leaving one's hometown.
ii) Physical exertion.
iii) Expenditure of wealth.
iv) Renewal of the covenant with God.
v) Circumambulation (Tawaaf).
vi) Supplication (Dua).
vii) Prayers (Salat/Namaaz).
And others like throwing pebbles, running between Safaa and Marwah etc.
Those who wonder at these actions do not realize that when we do not
know the hidden meanings and reason of certain commands, we manifest
more complete obedience and total submission to the Absolute Master in
carrying out those orders. Those actions whose secrets we have been
successful in understanding, our soul, besides obeying the Master's
commands, is also inclined and pleased in performing them. Thus, it is
only for Hajj that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is reported to have said, "O Almighty, I have responded to your call for Hajj with complete submission and humility."
Furthermore, the Hajj constitutes the congregation of people from
all parts of the world, in the place where revelation was repeatedly
sent down to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), where the beloved (Khaleel) of
God resided, where angles used to descend every now and then. In fact,
it is the holy place, which has been the abode of the majority of the
Here the leader of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was born, his holy feet
walked; and the Almighty has chosen it for His house so that people
should pray towards it. He has sanctified its surroundings and has kept
Arafah in the beginning of the Holy Land. He has prohibited hurting
animals and uprooting vegetation there in as a mark of respect to the
holiness of the land. He has designed it to be like the throne of Kings
so that visitors from far off lands, disheveled and dusty, should
remain there in humility to the Absolute Monarch realizing the fact
that He is above all needs of time and space. While such a congregation
leads to new acquaintances, meeting with virtuous personalities and
stimulates quicker response to supplications (Dua), it invariably
reminds of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and his efforts at spreading the
Word of God. In this way one attains purity of the soul.
The intention for Hajj
1. The intention (Niyyah) must be pure and sincere for the sake of God only, but not for any other worldly motives, such as,
1) Showing off (Riyaa).
2) Avoiding rebukes for not performing Hajj.
3) Fear of poverty for it is known that one who does not perform Hajj is afflicted with poverty.
4) Business prospects, etc.
All these other motives destroy the sincerity (Ikhlaas) of the deeds
and deprive one of the promised rewards. It is foolish to undertake all
this rigor and expense only to end up in Damnation because the motive
2. One should sincerely repent of past sins and clear all the dues,
(Huquq-un-Naas), and cleanse himself of all distractions so that the
mind is easily turned towards God. One should write his will and
prepare for the journey to the Hereafter as he leaves his house,
relatives, friends, and possessions behind.
3. One should remember the majesty of the House and the Absolute
Owner, and that one has chosen to leave family, friends, and
possessions for the lofty and noble purpose of visiting a House, which
the Almighty has designed as a sanctuary for all people. Hence this
journey differs from all other worldly journeys. The pilgrim is one of
those who have responded willingly to the invitation made by the
4. The pilgrim should free himself of all matters, which tend to worry him so his total attention is towards the Almighty.
5. Any financial loss or physical affliction in this journey should be greeted happily, for, it is a sign of acceptance of Hajj.
6. The Pilgrim should ensure his earnings are acquired through
lawful means and he should be liberal in expenditure, not extravagant
(Israaf) though. But spending for the needy and deserving is not
extravagance as it has been reported that there is no goodness in
extravagance and no extravagance in goodness!
7. He should behave courteously towards his fellow travelers,
smiling and talking gently with them, avoiding harsh words, abuses or
vain talk. He should be humble to the other guests of the Almighty.
Magnanimity does not only mean not to hurt others but also to endure
when others hurt.
8. He should be disheveled and dusty, avoid cosmetics or any cause
of pride and beauty, and if possible, travel on foot, especially from
Makkah to Mina, Masher and Arafah, not as a means to avoid extra
expenses (in which case, transport is better!) rather for exerting
oneself for the sake of God, except if it affects other worship
(Ibadat) or supplication (Dua).
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